Why I Chose Open University (Distance Learning)
First, Studying in open university (distance learning institute) has the benefit of allowing you to develop your career without having to leave employment. It also means that you can apply new knowledge and insights to your working life while you are still studying, with many students choosing to tackle work-related topics in their dissertations.
Open university degree courses serve as a great alternative for students looking for further education without undergoing more conventional classroom learning. Online courses, no doubt, offer much freedom and flexibility. Most students enrolling for distance education courses are working full-time and are not in a situation to quit their jobs. They need a source of income to run their family's expenses. Hence, in order to upgrade their educational qualifications along with a job, they prefer taking up distance learning courses.
The main advantage of Open University (distance learning) is that it allows you to fit your learning around your work and home life.
You can usually also set your own pace of study.
It is your decision as to when and where you study.
It doesn't matter where you live – you can gain a degree from anywhere in the world.
As with a full-time degree, students may find that they gain useful, transferable skills, such as planning and research.
In other countries distance learning course often costs less than a full-time degree. (not in Nigeria lol)
The downside is that you will not enjoy the conviviality of being on a campus and rubbing shoulders with fellow students on a daily basis.
Loneliness and feelings of isolation should be avoided however by frequent online contact with tutors and taking part in virtual forums, virtual help groups and discussion rooms.
Distance learning providers usually offer dedicated support to their online or distance learning students.
Ways to become a successful distance learning student
Now that you are aware of the benefits of distance learning can you make the best of them? Make sure you follow these tips to avoid the possible pitfalls of online studies and successfully complete your studies:
1. Read the course guide and keep track of your lessons/modules
Your course guide or syllabus includes many useful information and you should consider it as a very important and useful tool. In your course guide, you can find information about your professor, lessons, grading system, assignments and a guide that explains how you can access the online forums, libraries and course materials. Read the syllabus thoroughly and if you have any questions, you can always contact the staff from student support.
2. Complete your assignments and submit them on time
Assignments are an important aspect of assessment in distance education. The recommendation is to check the deadlines and don’t miss out on completing and submitting your papers on time. Some professors will impose a penalty for overdue assignments, such as cutting 10 % off for your grade for the paper.
3. Engage in conversations during online classes
One of the secrets of distance learning is that you have to distinguish yourself during webinars or any discussion that takes place in an online format with your colleagues and professor. Try to be as active as you can, and this is not only a good thing that will positively contribute to the evaluation your professor will make. Being an active member in online forums of distance learning helps you out on enriching knowledge and understanding on the subject.
4. Stay organized and keep track of your progress
Organization is one of the key-elements in terms of becoming a successful distance learning student. So be very careful about where and how you keep your syllabus, assignments, reading materials or research projects. Make one big file on your computer but remember to divide it into sections, so you can easily find what you’re looking for. In addition, it would be useful to have a notebook or agenda where you can write down important stuff such as deadlines for your assignments.
5. Avoid procrastination like the plague
Many distance learners have the tendency to procrastinate in terms of both attending online classes and finishing the assignments. Make a plan with a preferred schedule to “go to class” and respect it. For assignments, if for instance, has a due date in one week, start researching the topic in the first days; note down the main ideas in the next and then you can start writing it. The day before you have to send it, just give it a final proofread that is cross-check your answers thoroughly before submitting it either to the instructor or online.
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